Shock­ingly nor­mal

This Im­preza will have more of what you want

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News - PAUL GOVER Paul.gover@cars­

CUS­TOMERS will win when Subaru switches its Im­preza next year.

It’s more than a year un­til the changeover, with an early tease planned for the New York Auto Show next week, but al­ready the Ja­panese brand says it is re­act­ing to owner feed­back on the cur­rent car.

So the next Im­preza is likely to have more space in the back seat, im­proved cabin com­fort and an all­round lift in qual­ity. Noise should also be re­duced.

Subaru Aus­tralia re­fused to go into any de­tail ahead of the New York un­veil­ing, but ad­mit­ted it has been lis­ten­ing to cus­tomers.

‘‘ Ev­ery­one is tremen­dously ex­cited about this new car. It builds on tra­di­tional Subaru strengths and I think ad­dresses some of the is­sues that have been raised by cus­tomers,’’ Subaru Aus­tralia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Nick Se­nior said.

He will be in the Big Ap­ple for the un­veil­ing but stresses there is no panic about the cur­rent Im­preza.

‘‘ Only two months ago we had an all-time record for Im­preza sales,’’ Se­nior said.

‘‘ De­spite some per­cep­tions, it’s been a fan­tas­tic car for us and has at­tracted a new cus­tomer that we pre­vi­ously hadn’t seen.

‘‘ The pre­vi­ous Im­preza was a male skew and the pro­fes­sional women cat­e­gory was more the do­main for the Mazda3 and Honda Civic. We’ve been able to grow our share of that im­por­tant group.’’

The only early pic­ture of the Im­preza is a side-on shot of the sedan, with the hatch not go­ing pub­lic un­til Thurs­day in the USA. The sedan is the pop­u­lar choice in Amer­ica, even driv­ing de­vel­op­ment of a four-door WRXafter Subaru in Ja­pan had pre­vi­ously ruled it out.

Of­fi­cially, Subaru says the new car is ‘‘ in­cred­i­bly frugal’’ with ‘‘ greater cabin space, ma­jor gains in in­te­rior de­sign and re­fine­ment, plus mul­ti­ple tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vances,’’ but Se­nior is not giv­ing any early de­tail.

He de­fended the de­ci­sion to make an Amer­i­can un­veil­ing of an iconic Ja­panese car that could also be one of the stars at the Aus­tralian In­ter­na­tional Mo­tor Show in July.

‘‘ Why New York? A cou­ple of rea­sons,’’ Se­nior said.

‘‘ In terms of the show cy­cle and when it was go­ing to break cover, New York was the best choice.’’

But he was non­com­mit­tal on spec­u­la­tion for the changeover date in Aus­tralia.

‘‘ That’s to be de­cided,’’ Se­nior said.

Mean­while, Subaru is ready with an­other new prod­uct re­veal.

The XV cross­over con­cept is to be un­veiled at the Shang­hai mo­tor show on April 19.

De­tails are scarce un­til then, but Subaru reck­ons this new gen­er­a­tion all­wheel-drive wagon blends

‘‘ prac­ti­cal­ity with fash­ion­able form, fun and com­fort’’.

Per­haps it is a pointer to a fresh ap­proach to a Forester-style wagon?

Or a down­sized, and hope­fully pret­tier, Tribeca?

Two days af­ter the cov­ers come off the XV, Subaru un­veils the next gen­er­a­tion Im­preza at the New York In­ter­na­tional Auto Show.

Se­cret: Subaru has re­leased a sin­gle im­age ahead of the newIm­preza’s un­veil­ing

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